Are You Ensuring Your Mobile Data is Backed Up?


A mobile data backup strategy may seem like a simple and essential requirement but it is surprising how many organizations are either not doing it, or not doing it well. This has far less to do with the systems being used and more to do with the lack of an effective strategy for data storage within an enterprise environment.

Most enterprise mobility management (EMM) packages include automatic backups as a standard feature of their offering. But this can only go so far if a proper mobile data backup strategy is not in place.

One common problem is that companies are not segregating the personal and business data of mobile users. To do this properly requires the use of containers or sandboxes. These can be extremely useful when isolating critical enterprise data.

Sandboxes can be highly valuable tools for analyzing the way data is generated and consumed within a business. They may also grant insights into the way it is being backed up. Sandboxing key programs and/or data can also support a broader data storage strategy.

User of containerization within enterprise data storage is increasingly employed in BYOD environments, allowing IT to segregate the data it wants backed up – i.e. corporate data – from the personal data on mobile devices. Some security experts are concerned, however, that this may not be sufficient to fend off jailbreaking attempts on mobile devices.

EMM software generally is not required to back up personal data, particularly when companies allow a BYOD policy. However, for company devices the system should ideally be backing up the operating system. As with many other aspects of enterprise mobility, education of employees is critical so that they understand the backup requirements for their own personal data.

Frequency of backups can also pose a problem when a company relies on its employees to perform a manual backup of their mobile devices. In our short-attention- span society, this rarely happens, requiring the EMM software to perform an automatic backup if it can. The best system for this is one that can run in the background, several times a day, without burdening devices. Use of the cloud offers a significant advantage.

Any data backup strategy must be automated to be really successful. It also must be fully transparent to all levels of the business and it should be easy to implement and reliable. Nor should it be too expensive.

It is difficult to over-emphasize the importance of data to organizations in the 21 st century. In many sectors, regulations require that data generated by all company-owned devices be stored. The old days of relaxed monthly backups are long gone.